Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Would give the QEs a decent COD capability, one thing the Merlin can’t do is lift the F-35 Engine power module.
A shared buy with the RN to bring us to a fleet of a couple of dozen would be very useful - between the COD/AAR stuff for carrier and the insertion possibilities for SFOR.

Likely a pipe dream although a couple have been seen dotting around the carriers on various occasions.
 

south

Active Member

Interesting article to show the RAF are exploring getting back into the dispersal game; ostensibly to provide increased survivability and resilience in the face of potential Russian threats.
While dispersion does help with those assets it also comes with an increased logistical burden (bombs, bullets, fuel and spare parts), as well as placing more demand on C2 (e.g secure comms to allow for planning and coordination).
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member

Interesting article to show the RAF are exploring getting back into the dispersal game; ostensibly to provide increased survivability and resilience in the face of potential Russian threats.
While dispersion does help with those assets it also comes with an increased logistical burden (bombs, bullets, fuel and spare parts), as well as placing more demand on C2 (e.g secure comms to allow for planning and coordination).

Reading the comments - which for once, were actually useful - it seems there are a lot of MOD estates with runways still intact but which are no longer used as airbases. That as a dispersed concept could work - refurb some facilities, you'd maybe have fuel on hand, some buildings to work from cover, and you can get a Tiffy on and off a 700 runway if it's dry.
 

south

Active Member
Reading the comments - which for once, were actually useful - it seems there are a lot of MOD estates with runways still intact but which are no longer used as airbases. That as a dispersed concept could work - refurb some facilities, you'd maybe have fuel on hand, some buildings to work from cover, and you can get a Tiffy on and off a 700 runway if it's dry.
I’m fine with the concept of dispersal, particularly if it’s to avoid an initial strike. It works; complicates enemy targeting, increases resilience etc. Conceptually it may even make whatever the target is such an undesirable target that they are left alone for higher payoff targets (although ultimately this is unlikely for airfields).

To me this is different if they plan to operate from the dispersed fields. If that is the case they need much more support. Weapons, POL, countermeasures, spares, secure comms for coordination, potentially mission planning facilities, are all, presently, beyond the RAF capacity. Not impossible to resolve, but will take some £££.

I wonder if any consideration is being given to any other passive defence measures such as decoys.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I’m fine with the concept of dispersal, particularly if it’s to avoid an initial strike. It works; complicates enemy targeting, increases resilience etc. Conceptually it may even make whatever the target is such an undesirable target that they are left alone for higher payoff targets (although ultimately this is unlikely for airfields).

To me this is different if they plan to operate from the dispersed fields. If that is the case they need much more support. Weapons, POL, countermeasures, spares, secure comms for coordination, potentially mission planning facilities, are all, presently, beyond the RAF capacity. Not impossible to resolve, but will take some £££.

I wonder if any consideration is being given to any other passive defence measures such as decoys.

Well, dispersal is written into the genes of the the UK airbase concept - way back from WWII - long strips of concrete with POL stores, ATC buildings, even hangars etc.

If someone selected some old MOD facilities, with a strip, they would likely have a set of fuel bunkers, probably have some dispersal aprons, would likely have some old buildings associated with the job (Catterick Garrison has a lot of RAF facilities despite being now an army base for instance)

So, some of these bases are already former airbases, they have POL, weapons bunkers, ATC, hangars. They'll need some work and some money but it's not like we're standing up an entirely novel capability here. The spares and stores, I get it and you're right - if you get a bent jet, there may be some shuttling back to base for a fix, but basically we used to be the worlds most unsinkable aircraft carrier for a reason - lots of airfields.

Not practicable for long periods of time as you say, not without some re-arranging going on.

There's also discussion about using smaller regional airports - that might be as simple as bombing the jet up, popping up, landing away and standing a QRA alert from that field perhaps ?

You'd maybe need a small land-away team to polish the windshield and stick a new airfreshener in there but for a day or two, not impossible.

It's an interesting idea, although I do wonder if it's more about signalling than anything else.
 

south

Active Member
Well, dispersal is written into the genes of the the UK airbase concept - way back from WWII - long strips of concrete with POL stores, ATC buildings, even hangars etc.

If someone selected some old MOD facilities, with a strip, they would likely have a set of fuel bunkers, probably have some dispersal aprons, would likely have some old buildings associated with the job (Catterick Garrison has a lot of RAF facilities despite being now an army base for instance)

So, some of these bases are already former airbases, they have POL, weapons bunkers, ATC, hangars. They'll need some work and some money but it's not like we're standing up an entirely novel capability here. The spares and stores, I get it and you're right - if you get a bent jet, there may be some shuttling back to base for a fix, but basically we used to be the worlds most unsinkable aircraft carrier for a reason - lots of airfields.

Not practicable for long periods of time as you say, not without some re-arranging going on.

There's also discussion about using smaller regional airports - that might be as simple as bombing the jet up, popping up, landing away and standing a QRA alert from that field perhaps ?

You'd maybe need a small land-away team to polish the windshield and stick a new airfreshener in there but for a day or two, not impossible.

It's an interesting idea, although I do wonder if it's more about signalling than anything else.
I think the discussion needs to resolve around what is the true desire. Is it just dispersal - for survival, then back to the MOB for operations post an ‘initial strike’; or if the intent is to truly get this practised and ready for Ops. Requires a completely different footprint and level of support.

I have no doubt the people of the RAF can pull it off if supported correctly; they are dedicated with can-do attitudes. I have real doubts as to the level of funding that the politicians and bean counters will allow…
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think the discussion needs to resolve around what is the true desire. Is it just dispersal - for survival, then back to the MOB for operations post an ‘initial strike’; or if the intent is to truly get this practised and ready for Ops. Requires a completely different footprint and level of support.

I have no doubt the people of the RAF can pull it off if supported correctly; they are dedicated with can-do attitudes. I have real doubts as to the level of funding that the politicians and bean counters will allow…

This is why I'm wondering if this is more about signalling than actually setting up a true capability. A friend of mine used to work at Wittering and just as you say, landing away, a quick refuel maybe, not too hard to do but putting the kit and plans in place for a truly distributed capability, much harder. And more expensive.

I'm suspecting they're shading at the ability to disperse the force to ride out a day 1 assault but we'll see.
 

At lakes

Active Member
Apparently the RAF intend to be the first military to introduce into service a zero carbon aircraft. They probably would have a good chance except that they have to contend with the MOD.
The Danes might beat them, they start a two year trial with an electric aircraft commencing in September.

 
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ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Apparently the RAF intend to be the first military to introduce into service a zero carbon aircraft. They probably would have a good chance except that they have to contend with the MOD.

While the RAF plots on with its woke agenda I hope they spare a thought for those dastardly opponents whose warlike policies concentrate on lethality and whose weapons and platforms blast away to explosive hypersonic speeds and who don’t give a big rats ringbit about how carbon neutral the RAF becomes.
Gawd forbid! It’s a defence force not a Green Party lovefest. (Rant off)
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Apparently the RAF intend to be the first military to introduce into service a zero carbon aircraft. They probably would have a good chance except that they have to contend with the MOD.

What a load of greenie lefty BS garbage, I can see the headline now;

“Sorry we couldn’t attend the war, we were too worried we might actually produce carbon emissions”.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Apparently the RAF intend to be the first military to introduce into service a zero carbon aircraft. They probably would have a good chance except that they have to contend with the MOD.


Well, it's a light trainer so it might not get on the agenda as much. Not a bad idea if they can make it work as an electric aircraft would have likely lower maintenance requirements and of course, the motor will have instant torque etc.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
The instant torque is what made my wife like her first hybrid. Throw in regenerative braking & it ideally suited her driving style.

I remember the comments when Vauxhall started bringing in hybrids (I worked on site with them for ages) - the rated output sounded a bit feeble but away from the lights, it was something special compared to the petrol equivalents.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

RAF officialy put an end on C-130J operation. Will be interesting how they are going to disposs them. There will be Air Force in Asia and South America that will be interested. Indonesian AF rumours interested. If Indonesian MinDef still pushing expensive items like Rafale or F-15, getting ex RAF C-130J will be alternative ways on getting C-130J (which TNI-AU shown real interest on getting that).
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
This article discusses the pollie defence ambitions being constantly underfunded leading to some awful acquisition decisions. The E-3/E-7 saga seems to illustrate this. Didn’t realize the envisioned five E-7 fleet got reduced to three!

 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member

RAF officialy put an end on C-130J operation. Will be interesting how they are going to disposs them. There will be Air Force in Asia and South America that will be interested. Indonesian AF rumours interested. If Indonesian MinDef still pushing expensive items like Rafale or F-15, getting ex RAF C-130J will be alternative ways on getting C-130J (which TNI-AU shown real interest on getting that).

They're up for sale (along with a lot of other kit)

https://assets.publishing.service.g...ata/file/1015447/DESA_Sales_Brochure_2021.pdf
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member

RAF officialy put an end on C-130J operation.
That's really good news that the A400Ms are all ready for service so the C-130s can be retired early. Will reduce maintenance costs and free up resources for elsewhere.
 
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